GGD’s caught off-guard by Cabinet’s quarantine rules changes
The GGD municipal health service branches said they were surprised by the Cabinet's decision to relax the quarantine policy on Friday, and they need a week to implement this. "Unfortunately, the GGDs were only informed of these policy changes shortly before the press conference," said the branch organization GGD GHOR.
The changes were announced by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Ernst Kuipers during a press conference updating the Netherlands on the state of the coronavirus pandemic. Those who have already received a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot no longer have to quarantine after a close contact tests positive for the coronavirus infection. Additionally, those who tested positive within the eighth weeks also do not have to quarantine in such cases.
Those who do not have to isolate still should get a PCR test to confirm the negative result five days after the contact took place. Anyone developing Covid-19 symptoms should immediately isolate and schedule a test.
"The 25 regional GGDs will adapt the current quarantine advice to the new policy as soon as possible. The earliest feasible and coordinated entry date is January 21," according to the organization.
According to GGD GHOR, implementing other quarantine rules requires some time and care. "Experience shows that even simple-looking policy changes entail many exceptions. This often leads to the necessary complexities in the implementation. Complexities that cannot always be foreseen in advance," the organization states.
The size of the organizations involved also means that it takes time to provide their thousands of employees with the correct instructions. They work in various places in the country and in different roles, from those involved in testing to those carrying out source and contact investigations. In addition, changes must be made to all systems and means of communication. That also requires careful execution.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times